Todd Martin - Getaway (Patrick Thomas)

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You can download Patrick's original recording of this song here:
itunes.apple.com/us/album/build-me-a-city/id289779489

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About This Recording:

This is one of my favorite songs off of Patrick’s album ‘Build Me A City’. I originally recorded some of that track with him and loved the way it turned out on his album but I wanted to take a swing at the song from a different angle.

Around the time that I was planning the production of this song, I had been playing my baritone guitar a bit more than normal and I decided I wanted to use that as one of the main guitars on my version of the song (rather than an acoustic guitar). So I ran through the song a bunch of time with just my vocals and baritone. I decided to slow the tempo of the song down a bit. Next I wanted to attack the rhythm section (bass and drums).

I have to give Matt Bogdanow credit for the inspiration of my method for this drum section. He showed me a YouTube video of the making of Prodigy’s song ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ (search for it on YouTube – it’s pretty cool). I decided to steal some drum samples from some tunes in the same way, except I kind of knew up front that I wouldn’t wind up keeping the drum samples from the other songs intact in the final mix. I just wanted a general foundation for the drum dynamics.

So I took the basic drum beat from Citizen Cope’s ‘Bullet And A Target’ from the intro to the song, time stretched it (slower), changed the pitch a bit and looped in into my mix. That’s what wound up being the foundation for the midi drum beats I recreated for the verse. If you listen to the verse section and consider the loop to be 4 bars long, the 1st and 3rd bars of drums are similar and the 2nd and 4th are a little different. I moved the kick and snare around in those bars to change the groove.

Next I pulled a drum sample from Patrick’s tune called ‘Airport Girl’. The song starts with a drum beat that I robbed to be one of the dynamic sections of the chorus. Here again I had to change pitch and tempo to reign the beats into my mix. I wound up speeding this drum section up a good bit to make it sound a little busier for the chorus. It happens twice, quickly at the start of each chorus.

The other sample I used for the drums was a beat from Tim Blane’s tune called ‘New Dance’. This song opens with a drum part that I robbed, cut, sliced, reversed, stretched and inserted as the outro beats of the chorus structure.

I programmed two tracks of midi drums in my Getaway mix that totally duplicated my bastardized drum samples that I borrow from those songs. There aren’t any real samples of those three songs in my version of Getaway. Like I said, I just used them for the foundation of the drum groove and then pulled them out from underneath after I recreated my own beats in there.

Next was the bass and baritone tracking. Both were pretty straight forward parts that I played. The bass is always fun for me to track because it’s still kind of new to me. I guess the same goes with the baritone actually. Both parts were kind of simple but I wanted each to be the core guitar elements of the song. They are actually the only guitars on the track that wound up in the final mix. I’m really pleased with the tones of that baritone part. It’s a Danelectro baritone guitar with great sustain that is just so solid and dirty even as a straight line-in on the track. I put it through an amp simulator (to save my neighbors) and that’s about all the effects that I applied to that track.

Lastly, instrument wise, I added some keys and ambient midi noises in the background to distinguish some of the choruses from each other. Then I moved on to the vocals.

I really enjoy recording vocals with thick high and low harmonies, unison doubles, and even natural delay parts as well so this section of the tracking was probably the most fun for me. After getting the loops together with the guitar parts I realized that the way I was originally singing the melody in the demo version was a bit out of place now that the song had such a slow groove to it. So I rerecorded a few takes of a melody vocal and started from scratch there to arrange the harmonies and doubles. What you hear in the tune is really about 4 or 5 different vocal parts throughout the tune. There’s the main melody, a high and low harmony, a unison vocal part and the announcer/barker sounding character that hits at about the 1:58 mark of the song in the chorus. Like I said, I had a lot of fun creating this vocal arrangement. I think you only hear about 5 of the 10 or so parts that I laid out for this tune. I’ll save the others for the behind-the-music tracking video we do about 25 years from now.

The last thing I added to this tune was a shaker part that Syd recommended. It kind of helps tie some of the drum parts together and keeps a good flow to the rhythm sections throughout the song.

I went through about 8 separate mixes of the song before finalizing it with what you hear on this track. So that’s it folks. I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

-Todd

credits

from Volume 2 (New Directions), released February 19, 2010
Todd Martin - Baritone Guitar, Bass Guitar, Cinnamon/Coffee Bean Shaker, Midi (drums and various other sounds)

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